Anonymous service personnel (Picture: MOD).

UK Defence Plans For Increased 'Conflict And Competition' Post-Coronavirus

Anonymous service personnel (Picture: MOD).

A strategic meeting has brought defence chiefs together, to discuss challenges facing the UK in the aftermath of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

As lockdown restrictions continue to be eased, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace met with Army, Navy and RAF chiefs, alongside UK Strategic Command and Defence Intelligence officials.

The talks come as part of the renewed focus on the Integrated Review - introduced in February as the largest defence review in 30 years, but was subsequently paused as the Ministry of Defence (MOD) turned its attention to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Wallace said: "A post-COVID world will increase economic crisis, conflict and competition. The threats we face come in many forms across many continents. 

"This week, I gathered together our service chiefs and MOD leadership at the Tower of London to discuss the form and capabilities we will need to deliver a modern, capable and strong Armed Forces ready to defend the United Kingdom in the decade to come."

Test tubes with COVID-19 coronavirus labels (Picture: PA).
The Integrated Review was paused in April due to the coronavirus outbreak. Since, the military has been involved in supporting the UK response to the pandemic. (Picture: PA).

The review aims to reform defence and ensure British security is keeping up with hostile actor and emerging threats.

The pandemic has itself provided unique challenges while the review has been held up, with large-scale disinformation campaigns surfacing across the globe.

Defence spending is another topic in its sights, with large-scale project management under scrutiny this year once more.

Costs and delays regarding MOD nuclear programmes and the introduction of a Carrier Strike Group at sea have been criticised in recent months.

The Integrated Review was originally set out to examine defence, foreign and security policy, threats of the next decade, relationships with allies and changing strategy on the international stage.

It will run in parallel to the Comprehensive Spending Review so departments can receive necessary resources to act on its conclusions.

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